Promenades, Sunsets and Balconies (part 2)   [show/hide text]

collaboration with Dorothee Kreutzfeldt
Sala Parpalló Valencia, Spain 2009

The geographical, socio-political and cultural distances between Mediterranean Valencia and rural Richmond are immense; each is tied into distinct economics, politics and national/global trajectories. Of course with different kinds of sensitivities towards history and environment. The image of the piano in the half built standard unit house in Richmond presents an awkward icon – something unfinished and coerced. For the presentation at Sala Parpalló, a former nunnery, we worked with images from Valencia that functioned similarly on a located and iconic level: balcony, canopy, geraniums, dogs, gas bottles from a construction site. An orange light. However, in our installation, none of the elements sat in a logical composition; they partly dressed the space, partly suffocated the pillar with the geranium. A certain banality and romance emerged – similar to the way the traveller takes photographs or writes about a place, or stumbles without a guide.

The installation worked as a backdrop to the reading of texts that described places in Richmond and in Valencia (here a market, an ancient church undergoing restoration, the underground tunnel next to a highway): noise, sounds, movement, colour details, as we had experienced them, observed and counted. The reading brought both places closer, if only in a kind of syncopation5, not interaction – what was audible were two languages, Spanish and English, and mediated fragments of the two places, one present and familiar to the audience, the other removed and part of whatever an ‘African’ town was imagined as.

(Text by Dorothee Kreutzfeldt)


Supported by the Embassy of Spain in South Africa, the Nirox Foundation, the Johannesburg Art Gallery, MAP, The Bagfactory Artists Studios, Sala Parpalló, Casa África and Centro de Arte La Regenta.